God is your savior, let him guide you through the darkness, be one with him, and your life will be filled with good fortune. Church used to be a place where I would go every Sunday and sit through an hour long sermon only to then realize I have no idea what she was talking about. As I began to age and my intelligence began to flourish, it became more and more clear that I did not believe everything I was hearing. "Be with the lord, and you shall have a good, fulfilling life"; these words have been instilled in me since the beginning of my existence. My parents, my preacher, my god; all affect the way I live, and all affect how I think. During my adolescent years, I was blinded by the bright light of religion, I didn't know there was anything else out there, until one day, my eyes were finally opened to the truth.
I've always had a slight disinterest in christianity and it was only recently that I acted upon this unamusement. I knew that this must be handled with great delicacy and so I started with something small, self exploration. I began reading an assortment of books which strayed away from conventional religion, such as Dan Barker's "Losing Faith in Faith". His glorious journey from preacher to atheist broadened my perspective and provided me with a means for religious conversion. The way he questioned the bible and all the things I was taught in Sunday School was astonishing at first, but under closer inspection and deep contemplation I began to see through the same lens as him. Now I am not saying that I'm now an expert on atheism and agnosticism, but what I can say is that I now have a better understanding of my religious standings; and so begins my next feat; parental confrontation.
I was unsure how to approach my parents about said topic, since they have been decently adamant about having some sort of religious direction in my life. I had to begin dropping hints here and there, just small comments that made them question my beliefs, without coming off too harsh. After some time it became clear that my hints would not suffice, I would need to be more direct, and so comes the inevitable "talk". It began after my first refusal to attend church on Sunday. In hindsight choosing Palm Sunday may have not been the best day to come out, but I was not aware of this fictitious celebration since I had not been following the church calendar for quite some time now. My parents were speechless at first, they refused to speak about the matter anymore and left, leaving me to collect my thoughts and come up with some sort of acceptable argument. Upon their arrival back home I was found in my room browsing the web in hopes of finding some inspiration. I had a general idea of what I planned on saying but something wasn't right about the situation, I had a bad feeling. As my parents entered through the side entrance of our home I heard an extra pair of footsteps, who could this mysterious pair of feet belong to?
I descended down the staircase in an orderly manner only to find to my disbelieving eyes, my pastor, standing in all her glory, in my kitchen. I was obviously stunned by such a sudden turn of events, I was in no way prepared for a full blown discussion about my religious preferences, but I had no other option. I took the seat directly across from my pastor at the dinner table to that my message may be better conveyed, and so I began. First with how I came to the decision, and how it was, in no way at all, an easy one. I calmly spoke in a confident tone and explained how I believe I've matured enough to select whom I am faithful to, whether it be fictitious or supernatural. At first all were hesitant to accept my beliefs, my parents were actually the ones whom were most concerned. I explained to them how I have felt this way for quite some time and decided it was time to act upon my inner inhibitions. After fully vindicating my thoughts, I was asked to leave the table so that my parents and pastor may speak in private. The only thing that is running circles in head is the fact that I need not their approval or acceptance. I did not come to them to be judged like some sort of patronized lunatic; but rather, I would hope that they all have a permissive enough mind to let me be my own person. I return into the kitchen where I once professed my distaste for structure religion and to my incredulous eyes, my pastor is holding the copy of "Losing Faith in Faith" from which I had previously borrow from the local library. She said she had read it once before and although she has dedicated her life to the lord and savior jesus christ, she does not deny the fact that this very book has to capability to sway ones religions beliefs. And so with a little convincing, and some help from my man Dan Barker, my parents and preacher now understand and accept my religious predisposition.
So what have I learned? Well you see, throughout this entire journey I had to stop and think to myself, "Is any of this actually worth it?". This question resides deep in the catacombs of the soul, where the only things that truly matter are the things that are most important to you. I guess one could even go as far as to say that I don't have an answer to this question, I do not believe anybody does. But what I do believe is that even in the vast spectrum of life, we may seem insignificant, what we do and how we live matters, not only to us, but the people we surround ourselves with. That is why I deem this question rhetorical, for the true answer can only be discovered when we decide to live out our days here as equals.